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Biology 2e

(44 reviews)

Multiple Authors, OpenStax

Pub Date: 2018

ISBN 13: 9781947172517

Publisher: OpenStax

Language: English

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Reviewed by Philips Akinwole, Assistant Professor, DePauw University on 10/16/19

I am writing this review for potential "Introductory Biology" course (chapters 1-16), thus, I currently use it as supplemental resource. I think this book is comprehensive for a general biology textbook, but it lacks some depth and breath for... read more


Reviewed by Shaun Blevins, Adjunct Professor, OhioLink on 8/15/19

This textbook provides an excellent discourse on the many foundational ideas of Biology. I found it to be broad in scope but still provided the depth you would want in a major's level Biology course. read more


Reviewed by Rachael Detraz, Associate Professer, Edison Community College on 7/31/19

The textbook is comparable to a general biology textbook for majors from any of the major publishers. read more


Reviewed by Emma Murray, Instructor (Biology for majors), Aims Community College on 7/23/19

Overall this text covers each topic in adequate detail and provides enough detail and content for a two semester coverage of biology for majors, especially if this text is used alongside additional instructor input and labs. For example, chapters... read more


Reviewed by Cathy Sistilli, Professor, Biological Sciences, OhioLink on 7/19/19

Good coverage of topics appropriate to a two semester biology majors course. The index is helpful but there is no glossary read more


Reviewed by Christy Fillman, Senior Instructor, CU Boulder on 7/1/19

I am writing this review of the genetics unit from Biology 2e (chapters 11-17) in the context of potentially using this book for an introductory level, one semester genetics course for majors. Note: I have not yet used this book in a class. I... read more


Reviewed by Dan Atwater, Assistant Professor, Earlham College on 6/23/19

The comprehensiveness varies but is overall mostly appropriate. Diversity of life and physiology get a lot of attention and surprising detail for an introductory textbook. Cell biology gets more cursory coverage and evolution is surprisingly... read more


Reviewed by Katelyn Butler, Assistant Professor of Bioogy, Anderson University on 1/9/19

Overall, this book covers the essentials required by an introductory biology textbook. It covers the main topics such as genetics, evolution, and cell biology in sufficient detail. I do wish there was more content on plant biology. read more


Reviewed by Maria Quintero, Graduate teaching assistant, Florida State University on 11/28/18

This seems like a great book for freshman because often at that stage the students are interested in science but are unsure of what branch of science they want to go into. This book teaches them the basics every biology major should become... read more


Reviewed by Joseph Ly, Lecturer, St. Ambrose University on 10/26/18

Is able to cover aspects of biology very well. read more


Reviewed by Anthony Arment, Professor of Biology, Central State University on 10/11/18

No additional comments. read more


Reviewed by Jonathan Karpel, Associate Professor, Southern Utah U on 8/2/18

Yes, this text is much like any of the regular, paper general biology textbooks. It covers all the topics in sufficient detail for the student to succeed. I don’t see any glaring errors in terms of subjects that are missing from the text. The... read more


Reviewed by Conner Sandefur, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina Pembroke on 6/19/18

This text covers all subject matter used in a one semester introductory biology course. Some of the content, such as mitosis and meiosis, are separated into different chapters, which is different from some of the standard texts used (e.g. Concepts... read more


Reviewed by Dara Wegman-Geedey, Professor of Biology, Augustana College on 6/19/18

Given that this is a text for two semester introductory sequence in biology for undergraduates, it appears to be very comprehensive. I was expecting to see basic cellular biology and a survey of organismal diversity including units on evolutionary... read more


Reviewed by Thomas Giardina, Assistant Professor, University of Delaware on 5/21/18

This review will focuses specifically on a representative chapter—in this case, Chapter 7: Cellular Respiration. I compare the chapter from Biology 2e to both the first edition Openstax Biology and a traditional introductory text from a major... read more


Reviewed by Dilrukshan Wijesinghe, Associate Professor, LaGuardia Community College on 2/1/18

The book is comprehensive and suitable for use in a 2-semester (year long) college-level biology/science majors general biology sequence. It compares well in this regard with widely used textbooks such as Campbell Biology, Biological Science by... read more


Reviewed by David Carlini, Associate Professor, American University on 2/1/18

This text is very comprehensive, covering all topics that should be included in a two semester undergraduate introductory biology course for Biology majors/premedical students. I liked the fact that there was a glossary of terms in each section,... read more


Reviewed by Karen Sirum, Associate Professor, Bowling Green State University on 2/1/18

Core concepts for introductory level college course are addressed in sufficient detail, without overly complicating the material for this audience. Presentation is straightforward, but I find that supplementing with additional web based teaching... read more


Reviewed by Chris Trimby, Assistant Professor, University of Delaware on 2/1/18

The OpenStax Biology book has units and chapters that cover all of the major topics that one would consider for a general or introductory Biology course. There seems to be less volume of coverage of Ecology/Evolution compared to Organismal... read more


Reviewed by Laura Lambert, Administrative and Professional Faculty, James Madison University on 2/1/18

I focused in on Chapter 15: Genes and Proteins. I found that the level of detail is appropriate for a lower level undergraduate biology course. All major topics I would normally include to cover this topic are included (central dogma, codons,... read more


Reviewed by Alex Werth, Professor, Hampden-Sydney College on 6/20/17

The book is nicely comprehensive in its overall selection of units and chapters—all the basic components of any standard semester-long or year-long general biology course for majors or a mixed nonmajors/majors audience. All topics are covered... read more


Reviewed by Stan Guffey, Faculty Scholar, University of Tennessee on 6/20/17

Biology (OpenStax) is as comprehensive as, and follows the general topical format of a commercially available introductory biology textbook designed for life science majors. Comprehensiveness in an introductory biology textbook is a daunting... read more


Reviewed by Paul Heideman, Professor, College of William and Mary on 6/20/17

I am reviewing this textbook not for a first year course in introductory biology, but for a second-year one-semester course on the integrative biology of animals. For “Integrative Biology: Animals”, I need a biology textbook with three types of... read more


Reviewed by Melissa Kilgore, Biology Instructor, Lane Community College on 6/20/17

The textbook covers all of the major topics that I address in a year of non-majors biology. read more


Reviewed by Christopher Sorenson, Instructor, St. Cloud Technical and Community College on 4/11/17

This text book is as comprehensive as the McGraw Hill and Pearson texts that we have been using. It includes both the cell biology and organismal biology required of a 2-semester biology post-secondary sequence. read more


Reviewed by Theresa Spradling, Professor, University of Northern Iowa on 2/8/17

This book is on par in scope with the commonly used Campbell Biology. The table of contents and index are useful, and the PDF is searchable. My students who use the PDF and iBook versions report that they like being able to search for topics. read more


Reviewed by Raj Nathaniel, Professor, Nicholls State University on 2/8/17

This textbook is mostly suitable for 100 level introductory biology for non-majors. While not in detail, most of the material covered gives the reader a basic understanding of various biological processes. Non-major students who dislike biology... read more


Reviewed by Shalini Upadhyaya, Associate Professor , Reynolds Community College on 2/8/17

After having used the book for major’s biology course for the last 4 semester, I have pleased to say that I content is simple yet efficient and effective. It is provides a baseline for the essential content for a Biology course. However to meet... read more


Reviewed by John Lepri, Professor (Biology), University of North Carolina at Greensboro on 12/5/16

Spanning 47 chapters, the OpenStax "Biology" production is as comprehensive as its competitors. The contents list expands readily, and the names of the chapters mirrors those in the competitor texts. Each chapter has a number of small photographs,... read more


Reviewed by Ken Carloni, Assoc. Professor, Science Dept. Chair, Umpqua Community College on 8/21/16

Content Depth: A- The depth of content is largely appropriate for a 200-level Biology class. All texts tend to emphasize some areas over others, and this is no exception. Joint and body movement illustrations and descriptions are very detailed... read more


Reviewed by Pat Boleyn, Adjunct Faculty, Lane Community College on 8/21/16

The text is comprehensive in its coverage of the typical materials for a non-majors introductory biology course at the 100 level. It has a good online index that is searchable. read more


Reviewed by Meagan Harless, instructor, Winona State University on 8/21/16

The text covers essential content in sufficient detail for an introductory and/or non-majors biology survey type course. Many topics are covered at a moderate level of depth with additional links provided to content from other sections of the text... read more


Reviewed by Jennifer Doherty, Senior Lecturer, University of Washington on 8/21/16

This books covers the minimal basics, but not in great detail and isn't comprehensive by any means. There is no theme of how science works or is done. It is mostly a long long list of descriptive paragraphs. I reviewed the book for use in the... read more


Reviewed by Ashley Gramza, Instructor, Colorado State University on 1/7/16

This textbook is extremely comprehensive, almost too comprehensive. However, I now realize that instructors are encouraged to cut irrelevant material and use relevant material to their coursework. Biology is an extremely broad subject area to... read more


Reviewed by Mark Platta, Faculty , Central Lakes College on 1/7/16

Biology was very comprehensive in its covering of general biology topics and the "Link to Learning" feature allows the learner to expand the concept. Often these links provide cutting edge insight into both the research and application to make the... read more


Reviewed by Lisa Turnbull, Instructor, Lane Community College on 1/7/16

This text is fairly comprehensive. There are a few areas that I am pleasantly surprised by the detail included, but other areas where I am a little surprised to see detail lacking. read more


Reviewed by Kristyn VanderWaal, Faculty, Anoka Technical College on 6/10/15

If you are looking for a majors level textbook that covers all the content covered in the vast majority of first semester biology course, this will work for you. The content, as least in the chapters I cover, is extremely similar to my current... read more


Reviewed by Jessalyn Sabin, Instructor, Hibbing Community College on 6/10/15

This textbook was comprehensively organized and populated with topics. It covered all of the subject areas that my current General Biology textbook covers. Some current topics, such as epigenetics and biotechnology, were covered very well and... read more


Reviewed by Robert Sorensen, Professor, Minnesota State University Mankato on 6/10/15

The 8 units this textbook, chemistry through ecology, sufficiently cover the range of topics that would be covered in an Introductory Biology series of courses.The order in which topics are addressed follows the common approach of building from... read more


Reviewed by Irving Allen, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech on 6/10/15

This is a very comprehensive textbook that provides an appropriate balance between the different fields of biology. The textbook explains very complex topics in a comprehensive manner and appears to be designed for early term biology and... read more


Reviewed by Tobili Sam-Yellowe, Professor, Cleveland State University on 1/12/15

The text covers all areas of biology appropriate for first year biology students. Key terms are defined at the end of each chapter. A comprehensive index is provided at the end of the text. Answers to text and chapter questions are also provided. read more


Reviewed by Kate Pettem, Instructor, Biology, Camosun College on 10/9/13

The text is well-written and easy to read and understand. read more


Reviewed by Kuo-Hsing Kuo, Associate Professor, University of Northern British Columbia on 10/9/13

• The text appears to be very comprehensive. The index at the start of the text is very useful for navigation. • The glossary appears comprehensive, however, many duplicates (ie. hydrophobic and Hydrophobic) were noted in the index. Furthermore,... read more


Reviewed by Joan Sharp, Senior Lecturer, Simon Fraser University on 10/9/13

The text covers most necessary areas, but not always with clarity or accuracy. The index and glossary are fine. In Chapter 18, the text only includes the biological species concept, with no discussion of its weaknesses or limitations. Other... read more


Table of Contents


1. The Chemistry of Life

2. The Cell

3. Genetics

4. Evolutionary Processes

5. Biological Diversity

6. Plant Structure and Function

7. Animal Structure and Function

8. Ecology

The Periodic Table of Elements

Geological Time

Measurements and the Metric System

About the Book

Biology 2e is designed to cover the scope and sequence requirements of a typical two-semester biology course for science majors. The text provides comprehensive coverage of foundational research and core biology concepts through an evolutionary lens. Biology includes rich features that engage students in scientific inquiry, highlight careers in the biological sciences, and offer everyday applications. The book also includes various types of practice and homework questions that help students understand—and apply—key concepts.

The 2nd edition has been revised to incorporate clearer, more current, and more dynamic explanations, while maintaining the same organization as the first edition. Art and illustrations have been substantially improved, and the textbook features additional assessments and related resources.

About the Contributors


Mary Ann Clark, Texas Wesleyan University
Jung Choi, Georgia Polytechnic University
Matthew Douglas, Grand Rapids Community College